Superintendent committee to form by Sept. 1; board approves new SRO program

New Haven kindergarten and first-grade students sing a song they wrote about “The Leader In Me” program to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” The students’ performance opened the county board of education meeting Tuesday night, Aug. 15, 2017. The group was introduced by New Haven School Principal Kevin Payton.


Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

From left, board members Diane Berry, Rebekah McGuire-Dye and Interim Superintendent Tom Brown review documents during Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Nelson County Board of Education.

Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 — The Nelson County Board of Education approved the process it will use to create the committee that will search for and evaluate the candidates for the district’s next superintendent.

As required by state law, the committee will consist of:

  • two teachers elected by the district’s teachers;
  • one board of education member appointed by the board chair;
  • one school principal selected by the district’s principals;
  • one parent selected by the heads of the school’s parent-teacher groups, and;
  • one classified employee selected by the district’s classified employees.

The board also discussed the fact that it has the power to add additional members to the committee after the state requirements are met. After additional discussion, the board agreed that it would add a minority member to the committee if one isn’t chosen during the selection process.

State law requires the committee to have a minority member if the percent of minority students in the district is 8 percent or greater. The district has a minority population of 7.1 percent, and the board agreed that it was not a requirement, it was still appropriate to make sure the selection committee had minority representation.

The board reviewed how the elections for committee representatives will be conducted and when those elections will take place. The board must have a committee in place by the end of August, Interim Superintendent Tom Brown said.

Brown told the board and the audience he had no intention of applying for the superintendent’s position.

“I’m here to serve this district and make the transition as smooth as I possibly can for the next superintendent,” he said.

SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER. The board also took action that will lead to the district hiring its own school resource officers.

Tim Hockensmith, the district’s chief operating officer, explained that school safety was frequently mentioned during the district’s recent town hall meetings, and participants wanted the district to bring back school resource officers (SROs).

In order for the board to be able to hire its own special law enforcement officers, the district must complete the paperwork and get approval from the Department of Criminal Justice, Hockensmith explained.

The proposed SRO program will differ from the past because the SROs will be district employees. The officer or officers will be able to visit any of the district schools as needed or as needs arise.

“We see this as a blank slate at this point,” he said.

The salary will come from the district’s general fund. Hockensmith said the SRO program will begin with one or possibly 1-1/2 positions.

The board approved moving forward to get the needed approvals and approved the SRO job description.


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